Top 5 Pharma Companies for Clinical Trials

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Clinical trials are an important part while discovering novel treatments for the existing diseases. They are also significant when it comes to detecting, diagnosing and/or reducing the risk of diseases. Each and every drug or medical device has to pass through the various phases of clinical trial in order to get approved and marketed. Hence, the pharmaceutical companies which are involved in research and development have to spend more costs on conducting clinical trials too. Thus, clinical trials and pharmaceutical companies cannot be separated from each other.

Although, there are hundreds of pharmaceutical companies around the globe conducting thousands and thousands of clinical trials, there are few major companies which are acting as pioneers in this particular aspect of drug development. Here, we will see top 5 pharmaceutical companies of the major countries like United States, United Kingdom, Canada and India conducting several important clinical trials all across the globe:


This is a science-led global healthcare company that is involved in the production of vaccines, medicines along with some consumer healthcare products for the purpose of improving people's health and wellbeing. The company is equipped with around 99,000 workers in 115 countries. The scientists of GSK are continuously searching for the new ways to improve the treatments of diseases and disorders.

The company has its commercial operations in over 150 countries which include the network of 86 manufacturing sites and the larger research and development centers in the following countries:

- UK


- Spain

- Belgium

- China

At present, GlaxoSmithKline has more than 400 ongoing clinical trials involving over 340,000 human participants in 75 countries. More details about the clinical trials that are conducted by the company can be found at the company's own clinical trial registry.

Here is the link for GSK clinical trials register:

This registry currently has 6782 clinical trials with locations across 185 countries. Here is the data for you:

- Total Number of Result Summaries (as of 2013): 5286

- Total Number of Protocol Summaries (as of 2013): 3017

- Total Number of Clinical Study Reports (as of 2013): 22

- Total Number of Protocols (as of 2013): 5 (1), (2)


Bayer is the global enterprise with its core competencies in the following areas:

- Healthcare

- Agriculture

- High-tech polymer materials

This is an innovative company which has set trends in research-intensive areas. All the products and services of Bayer are being designed to benefit the public and for improving the quality of life. During the fiscal year 2013, the company has employed 113,200 workers.

When it comes to pharmaceuticals and clinical trials, the company is concentrating on the following therapeutic areas:

- Cardiovascular diseases

- Blood diseases

- Oncology

- Ophthalmology

- Women's healthcare

At present, the clinical trial registry of Bayer (Link: has a total 1080 studies listed. The biggest research locations of the company are:

- Germany


- China

Here are the highlights of Bayer clinical trials at a glance:

- Research expenses (in 2013): EUR 1,654 million

- In percent of division sales (in 2013): 14,8%

- Employees in Research & Development (as of Dec 31, 2013): 7,800 (3), (4)


Pfizer is another global pharmaceutical company having a leading portfolio of products as well as medicines that are supporting wellness, prevention, treatment and cure across a range of therapeutic areas. The company is having a pipeline of promising products having the potential to challenge few of the most feared diseases. Therapeutic areas that are being concentrated by Pfizer are:

- Immunology

- Inflammation

- Cardiovascular diseases

- Metabolic diseases

- Oncology

- Vaccines

- Neuroscience

- Pain

- Rare diseases

The company has taken a leadership position in order to ensure that the high quality clinical trials are being conducted with speed and agility. The company's investments as well as initiatives are focused on the following three things:

- Patient engagement

- Making work easier for trial sites

- Leveraging the real world data

In the clinical trial register of Pfizer (Link:, there are 1529 studies listed currently. It is to be noted that there are 86 candidates in the product pipeline of the company as of November 2014. (5), (6)

Bristol-Myers Squibb:

Bristol-Myers Squibb is the world's leading biopharmaceutical company. The company is focused on discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines that could help patients prevailing over the serious diseases. During the past ten years, the company has delivered 14 new medicines.

Therapeutic areas that are being concentrated by Bristol-Myers Squibb are:

- Immuno-OncologyImmuno-Oncology

- Oncology

- Immunoscience

- Cardiovascular

- Virology

- Fibrotic Diseases

- Exploratory Areas

- MetabolicsMetabolics

The company's pipeline continues to expand with around 55 candidates in development at present. The major research and development facilities of the company are at:

- Bangalore, India

- Braine-L'Alleud, BelgiumBraine-L'Alleud, Belgium

- Hopewell, New Jersey

- Moreton, EnglandMoreton, England

- New Brunswick, New Jersey

- Plainsboro, New Jersey

- Princeton, New Jersey

- Rueil-Malmaison, France

- San Francisco Bay Area, California

- Seattle, Washington

- Tokyo, Japan

- Wallingford, Connecticut

- Waltham, Massachusetts

In the year 2013, the company has invested $3.7 billion for the purpose of discovering and developing medicines for the benefit of patients. (7), (8)


Merck is another global leader in developing new therapies and is committed towards improving health as well as wellbeing across the globe. The company is operating in over 140 countries around the world. Merck is well known for the development of the following products:

- Innovative medicines

- Vaccines

- Biologic therapies

- Consumer care products

- Animal health products

So far, Merck has sponsored as many as 1189 studies in various therapeutic areas. Major therapeutic areas that are being focused by the company are:

- Cardiovascular diseases

- Diabetes and Endocrinology

- Infectious diseases

- Neurosciences

- Oncology

- Respiratory and Immunology

- Vaccines

- Women's health

In the product pipeline of Merck as of October 31, 2014, there are 31 drug candidates in various phases of development. And, the major research sites of the company are located at:

- U.S.

- Europe

- Asia

- Japan (9), (10), (11)













About the Author

Tharani Rajamanickam's picture

I am Tharani. I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the healthcare and medical industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with current trends and developments. I have gained a lot of experience in clinical field by working in clinical trials arena. Stay tuned..

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